Friends of IPAC Avalanche Safety Courses

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Friends of Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center's 2022/23 Avalanche Safety Courses

Friends of Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center is excited to announce our line-up of avalanche safety courses for the 2022/23 winter season. We hope you will join us this winter to further your backcountry and avalanche safety education here in the Idaho Panhandle! Listed below are this season's courses now available for sign up:

NEW: Motorized snowmobile/snowbike classes and Ski/Snowboard 'Backcountry 101' now offered!

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR OUR AVALANCHE COURSES:

1. Select your class date below and click the SIGN UP! link
2. Enter your contact information on the registration page
3. Complete Payment for your class via PayPal on the following page
4. Your spot is reserved!


Backcountry 101 - Ski/Snowboard - $150

Students will spend a full day in the mountains learning the basics of backcountry travel with a qualified and experienced IPAC instructor.  The instructor will model how to move about in the winter backcountry, how to identify avalanche terrain, and lead the group through the basics of avalanche rescue.  The objective of this course is to become a prepared and informed group member in the winter backcountry.  Backcountry 101 graduates are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance of a more experienced backcountry traveler or complete an IPAC Level 1 course before heading out of bounds on their own.  

Details:

  • This course introduces the fundamentals of winter backcountry travel and avalanche rescue.
  • Designed for backcountry beginners with intermediate or advanced riding ability.
  • The pre-trip meeting is required for participation.
  • Students must provide all required equipment:
    • Touring skis or split board - SNOWSHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS COURSE
    • Climbing skins
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Avalanche Rescue Fundamentals – Motorized - $200

Students will spend a full day in the mountains learning the basics of avalanche rescue with a qualified and experienced IPAC instructor. The objective of this course is to become a prepared and informed group member in the winter backcountry. All graduates are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance of a more experienced backcountry traveler or complete an IPAC Level 1 course before heading out on their own.

Details:

  • This course introduces the fundamentals of avalanche rescue.
  • Designed for beginners and experienced riders seeking review. 
  • The pre-trip meeting is required for participation.
  • Students must provide all required equipment: 
    • Snowmobile or Snowbike
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Avalanche Level 1 - Ski/Snowboard - $375

Details:

  • Students are required to complete an online course prior to the pre-trip meeting.  The online course takes about 5 hours to complete.  
  • The online course and pre-trip meeting are required for participation.
  • Students must be strong intermediate-advanced skiers/snowboarders to participate.
  • Detailed Course Description PDF
  • Students must provide all required equipment: 
    • Touring skis or split board – SNOWSHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS COURSE
    • Climbing skins
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Avalanche Level 1 – Motorized - $500

Details:

  • Students are required to complete an online course prior to the pre-trip meeting.  The online course takes about 5 hours to complete.  
  • The online course and pre-trip meeting are required for participation.
  • Students must be strong intermediate-advanced riders to participate.
  • Detailed Course Description PDF
  • Students must provide all required equipment: 
    • Snowmobile or Snowbike 
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Avalanche Level 1 Refresher - Ski/Snowboard - $150

Students will spend a full day in the mountains reviewing their level 1 skills with a qualified and experienced IPAC instructor.  The instructor will model how they prepare, execute, and review a typical day of backcountry riding.  The objective of this course is to go do ‘the thing’ with the guidance of a professional. 

Details:

  • Prerequisite: Students must hold an Avalanche Level 1 certification 
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete an optional online course prior to the pre-trip meeting.  The online course takes about 5 hours to complete.
  • The pre-trip meeting is required.
  • Students must be strong intermediate-advanced skiers/snowboarders to participate.
  • Students must provide all required equipment: 
    • Touring skis or split board – SNOWSHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS COURSE
    • Climbing skins
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Avalanche Level 2 - Ski/Snowboard - $500

This course is designed for advancing winter backcountry recreationalists with prior avalanche training and experience. Build upon the foundation you developed during your prior training. Gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and intricacies of avalanches. Further hone your hazard assessment and decision-making skills. Begin to understand how to choose terrain to match the current avalanche conditions.

Details:

  • Pre-requisite: Students must hold an Avalanche Level 1 certification
  • The pre-trip meeting is required.
  • Students must be strong intermediate-advanced skiers/snowboarders to participate.
  • Detailed Course Description PDF
  • Students must provide all required equipment: 
    • Touring skis or split board – SNOWSHOES ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS COURSE
    • Climbing skins
    • Avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe
    • Backpack (25-35L)
    • Layered clothing appropriate for spending an entire day in the winter backcountry

Wilderness First Aid for Winter Backcountry Users - $300

This course is designed for the winter backcountry user interested in bridging the gap between their avalanche education and medical response. The Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course is a great introduction to wilderness medicine and basic life support skills. This training focuses on prevention, assessment and treatment of injuries and illnesses common to winter backcountry recreation and includes wilderness medicine guidelines for the treatment of avalanche victims.

This specialty course is taught by Desert Mountain Medicine instructors who are employed as either professional mountain guides, or outdoor educators, in combination with emergency medicine (e.g., emergency department, mountain rescue, ski patrol or EMS).

Details:

  • This course is offered in accordance with Desert Mountain Medicine’s Wilderness First Aid curriculum and standards.  For more information visit: www.desertmountainmedicine.com 
  • The pre-trip meeting is required for participation.
  • Students must be prepared to spend the majority of both days outside in winter conditions and therefore, dress appropriately.
  • Snow travel equipment is not required. However, we encourage students to bring their gear to assist with practice rescue scenarios.

 

All course payments are processed through PayPal: Credit and Debit cards are accepted also. Please complete payment after registering for your course.

Following sign up and payment you should expect an email soon about your avalanche safety course with further instructions and information about the online portion if applicable.

COURSE ENROLLMENT QUESTIONS?

Please email us at education@idahopanhandleavalanche.org with any questions regarding our 2022/23 avalanche courses.

REFUND POLICY:

If you are unable to attend a course that you have registered and paid for, and you notify us that you are unable to attend at least 1 week before the date of the course, you will receive a 100% refund minus any PayPal transaction or processing fees. If you notify us less than 1 week before the course, you will receive a 50% refund. 

LEVEL 1 COURSE OVERVIEW:

American Avalanche Association- Avalanche Fundamentals, Level 1. In this class we teach you how to recognize avalanches, how to avoid them, the factors that result in each type, and how to become your own avalanche forecaster. We will also discuss avalanche dynamics and how to use the avalanche triangle (Snow, Weather, Terrain) to assess the stability of the snowpack. There are several tools that help with the avalanche assessment process and we will discuss their pros and cons. Finally we will spend a good portion of time avalanche rescue. We will talk about what to do if you get caught in an avalanche as well as practice organizing and executing an effective rescue. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the class.

Students must have familiarity with backcountry touring skis or a splitboard. Students must be a high-intermediate or expert level skier or snowboarder. Uphill travel capabilities will be necessary. Snowshoes are not allowed for uphill travel during the class.

LEVEL 1 COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  1. Describe the nature of avalanches and their danger
  2. Recognize avalanche terrain
  3. Understand basic snow metamorphism
  4. Conduct snow stability tests and snowpits
  5. Learn how to identify and avoid avalanche terrain
  6. Learn effective techniques for avalanche rescue

LEVEL 1 COURSE FOCUSED TOPICS:

  • Avalanche phenomena
  • Route selection
  • Travel considerations and group communication
  • Mountain geographic features and weather
  • Snow physics
  • Different types of snowpacks
  • Field observations, tests and judging instability
  • Use of avalanche and weather tools
  • Human factors and the use for systematic decision tools
  • How to use information from the avalanche forecast
  • Rescue strategies and techniques

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR ALL COURSES:

  • Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe
  • Daypack 20-45 liters
  • Lunch and snacks for the day
  • Extra gloves / Insulated layer
  • Enough water for the day (at least 1 liter)
  • Sun protection (sunglasses/ sunscreen)
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Knit hat, goggles, gloves, wind block for face (gator or buff or balaclava)
  • Insulating layers and emergency layer
  • * Optional- compass, inclinometer, snowsaw, pit kit, warm drink, etc…

RECOMMENDED READING FOR ALL COURSES:

  • ‘Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain’ Bruce Tremper
  • ‘The Avalanche Handbook’ Peter Schaerer & David McClung
Classes offered: 
Avalanche Awareness
Refresher
Level 1
Level 2
Locations: 
Selkirks
St. Regis Valley
Certification: 
AAA - American Avalanche Association